When I watch gymnastics, which I only ever do at the olympics, I wonder why there is a gold medal for the best "all-around" gymnast as well as separate medals for each discipline, ie one for beam, floor, vault, etc. I ask myself, "Why don't they just give one medal and be done with it." It seems like a gratuitous waste of medals to me.
Now, I am totally ignorant of gymnastics but I wonder if some people don't look at track cycling and think the same thing - how come a different medal for each event, why not just have an omnium and give the medal to the best rider at the end of the week? I do know a bit about track cycling and can see this is obviously a silly idea, but I'm not sure that the people making these decisions have a clue - they probably don't see the difference between going fast round a track 4 times as opposed to 16.